Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Coledale Horseshoe (30/01/10)

  1. Grisedale Pike
  2. Crag Hill
  3. Sail
  4. Outerside
  5. Barrow
Well after a few weeks of being lazy and not getting out in good time I decided it had to change.  So I got up early and headed for Braithwaite.  There was some ice floating on the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake and the car was showing -5°C.  However, the sun was coming out and the forecast was for  good weather, and for a change they were correct!

Out of the car park I headed along the good path up to Sleet How and eventually onto Grisedale Pike.

The early morning sun on Grisedale Pike to the left and Crag Hill and Sail on the left

Sunrise over Derwent Water

The wind was very light as I made my way to the top, and it was so peaceful, only met one other person going up.  At the last push before the top I meet the snow line so decided it would be sensible to put my crampons on.  From the top the views were great!

On the summit of Grisedale Pike with Sail behind me

Crag Hill and Sail from Grisedale Pike

Hopegill Head and Grasmoor from Grisedale Pike

Skiddaw and Blencathra from Grisedale Pike

From Grisedale Pike, I headed over the unnamed peak and down into Coledale Hause. I have always like this place, but have never been able to put my finger on why. From the Hause I headed south, deciding to take the easy path up to Crag Hill (Wainwright call this Eel Crag, but the OS decided to use Crag Hill) rather than tackle the scramble.

Looking across to Wandope from the base of Crag Hill

The snow was really well consolidated up here and a pleasure to walk on compared the the deep powdery stuff I have encountered so far this year!

The Scafell Range from the base of Crag Hill

From there it was steady climb to the top of Crag Hill, the second Wainwright of the day.

Trig point on Crag Hill's summit with Grisedale Pike behind and Skiddaw in the distance

I headed down the Scar between Crag Hill and Sail.  This was well loaded with snow and a little tricky in places so for safety I used my ice axe.  Once safely down it was only a short climb to the top of Sail and Wainwright number 3 of the day!

From Sail I decended into the col and instead of heading up to Scar Crag (this will done on another day) I cut across the scree slope heading for Outerside.  I had seen from across the valley earlier in the day that this looked well iced up and I wasn't disappointed.  Care was needed to cross this section!

The path along the flank of Scar Crag required some caution in these conditions

With the scree safely negotiated I headed up Outerside from High Moss. I was glad of the frozen condition over High Moss as it looked very boggy and being frozen meant I could walk the direct route and not get wet!

On the way down from Outerside I started to get cramp in both my thighs and was debating whether I should head back down to the valley or continue up and over Barrow.  After a rest and some fuel I decided that there was enough daylight and my legs were capable on the final planned summit for the day.  So instead of heading down from Barrow Door I made my way up to Barrow.  So glad I did as the views were great.

My route seen from Barrow. Grisedale on the right, Crag Hill and 
Sail back left and in the centre Outerside

Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw from Barrow

Derwent Water from Barrow

From Barrow it was a simple decent into the village of Braithwaite.  I was lucky to see a Peregrine Falcon on the way down, which capped off a great day, as did the rhubarb and custard sweets I bought in the village shop!!

So finally got a decent walk in and ticked off 5 Wainwrights.  This felt like the proper start of my challenge and I look forward to more great days out like this!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sale Fell (23/01/10)

Well I haven't really had the most productive weekends when it comes to walking up and down Wainwrights!  It is down to be not getting out of bed very early!

On Saturday, after a late start I finally got out, but only had time for a little one, so when for my 'local', Sale Fell.  Despite it only being small, I think this is a really nice short walk.

The north end of Bassentwaite Lake

The sun did make a brief appearance, but only brief!

The path heading towards Lothwaite

The Cloud began to build from this point on, but there was very little wind, in fact it was eerily quiet on the top of Lothwaite.

Bassenthwaite Lake from Lothwaite with Skiddaw in a blanket of cloud

From Lothwaite I headed over Rivings and up onto Sale Fell.  Whilst having some flapjack on the top it began to rain.  This is the first time I have got wet on my Wainwright challenge, but I don't expect it will be the last!!

Rain coming in from across the Solway, taken from the top of Sale Fell

So just one done this weekend.  Hopefully I will manage to get out of bed next weekend and get a few more done.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Low Fell and Fellbarrow (17/01/10)

Only one trip out this weekend, the weather really was to good on Saturday.  I headed out towards Thackthwaite, the first time I have been down this way since the November floods.  I had to go the long war round as the Lorton bridge is still closed.  There is significant damage and gravel deposited all over the place.  The power of water never ceases to amaze.  I was glad of the little de-tour, as I got to see a sparrow hawk fly in front of the car, not seen one for ages.

From Thackthwaite, I headed up the old drove road towards Low Fell.  It was nice to see a gold crest in the trees by the side of the track.  This is the first time this year I have been up and not needed my crampons.  Most of the snow had gone now, and the cloud was coming in obscuring the views.

Looking back towards Crummock Water with Grasmoor in the cloud

I expect this will the first of many trips when I am in and out of the cloud.  Navigation was no trouble on the clear paths around here, but they were getting rater boggy with the snow melt.  I stopped briefly at Watching Crag to enjoy the views before continuing onto Low Fell.

Crummock Water from Watching Crag

Me on Low Fell with Crummock Water in the background

I retraced me path back to the base of Sourfoot Fell where I took the boggy track up and over Smithy Fell on the way to Fellbarrow.  I stopped at the trig point to have a sandwich (sadly couldn't enjoy the view as the cloud had come back in) when a scruffy little dog belonging to a couple of walkers sat and whimpered at me to give him some.  I didn't carry it up there to feed that over sized rat, so he went hungry and I didn't!!

Trig Point at Fellbarrow

Me at the Fellbarrow Trig Point looking cold!

From the top I headed back down to the col between Fellbarrow and Smithy Fell where I picked up a path taking me back to the old drove road and back to the car.  Only a five mile trip but another two fells I haven't been up before :-)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Walla Crag (10/01/10)

My plan today was to park up at Watendlarth and walk from there.  However the road up there was covered in snow and ice.  I made up to view point where I had a great view of the frozen Derwent Water.

Derwent Water frozen over with a overing of snow

There was a brave couple camping at the back of the car park and looked rather surprised to see someone!  As I know the road from there is narrow with little room to turn around, I decided not to risk it so went back down and headed for the Great Wood car park.  From there I headed up Cat Gill where I got to see this frozen waterfall

Frozen water fall (not a great pic as light wasn't great)

The plan to go up Bleaberry Fell, however, the wind picked up and the snow was being blown into my face, which wasn't all the pleasant!  decided to forget this and headed for Walla Crag.  There was plenty of snow and ice about up there.  The sun did make a brief appearance which allowed me to get the shot below.

Bleaberry Fell from Walla Crag

From Walla Crag I headed down towards Keswick then cutting though Great Wood back to the car.  So not what I had planned to do, but another fun day out in the snow :-)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Ling Fell

Only a little one today.  Didn't get up as early as planned! The drive to Ling Fell was interesting, with the overnight snow and little traffic made the roads fun :-)

The Road below Ling Fell

The Land Rover earning its keep!

I took the corpse road to the top, which had a good covering of snow as well as plenty of sheep

The Corpse Road

The Trig point on the top of Ling Fell

The wind picked whilst at the top, making it very bitter. But it didn't effect the wonderful views.

Trying to look warm!

It was a good chance to try out the new Paramo Torres gilet.  Really noticed the difference when put this on over my Aspira smock.  Allowed me to be comfortable whilst enjoying the views and some soup.  Also decided to put on the crampons for the walk back down as there were some icy patches to get down.

View from the top

Nice and sunny view from the top

Skiddaw in the distance and Sale Fell in the foreground

Broom Fell in the distance

Another great day out.  Only one more Wainwright ticked off the list, but enjoyed this little stroll.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Lord's Seat and Broom Fell

Well what a day!!  I don't think you could ask for better winter conditions.  It was -7 driving through Lorton heading to the Spout Force car park. Great to see some red squirrels in the trees on the way there too.

It was great to see the sun coming over the fells as I walked along past Darling How.

Sun coming up over Broom Fell

Sun coming up over Broom Fell

I then went through Aiken Plantation and up through the trees, which looked spectacular covered in snow.  I got a good showering of snow down my neck as I walked under to branches, one disadvantage of being tall, but it helped out later!

Path though the tress on the way to Lords Seat

The final push to the top of the Lords Seat was entertaining, with some very deep drifts to walk through.  Here being tall was helpful, as I was close to being waist deep at times!!

Lords Seat summit with Solway and Robin Rigg off-shore wind farm in the distance

Not a bad view!!

Barf and Skiddaw from Lords Seat

From Lords Seat I put on the crampons and headed over to Broom Fell.

Heading over to Broom Fell

Te views were just amazing.  I also noticed that the north end of Bassenthwaite Lake was frozen - it was cold!

Stunning view across to Grisedale Pike

The views from the summit of Broom Fell were just as good

Me at the cairn on Broom Fell

Broom Fell cairn

I won't apologise for the number of photos in this post.  The views were just so good!  From the top of Broom Fell I retraced my steps back over Lords Seat and back to the car.  This was a cracking day out.  Sadly you don't get too many days like this, so I was so pleased to be able to get out today.

So that is another of couple off the list.  But it was the sort of day that is was just great to be out.  Anything else was just a bonus.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

1 Down 213 to go!! Binsey on 2nd January

Following on from New Years Day unsuccessful efforts at ticking off some hills, I decided to investigate the boot issue.  Having done some reading, it seems many people are using 'walking crampons' on B0 boots.  So I tried my Grivel G10s on my Meindl Air Revolution 2s - they didn't fit!!  So I set off to Keswick to pick up some long flexible bars for the G10s.  They now fitted so it was time to try them out.

I thought it would be a good idea to try them on some gentle slops, so headed for Binsey (447 m).  I had never seen so many cars there before, it appeared to have been turned into Cumbria's sledging, skiing and boarding resort!

I picked my way past the array of sledges and soon had the place to my self.  The wind was picking up as I made progress.

Snow on the slopes of Binsey

I had the summit to myself and was pleased to finally get the challenge underway.

Binsey summit cairn

The wind was really picking up and made it difficult to stand up in the top!

Binsey summit cairn

Windswept on the top of Binsey

I got down from the summit to find some shelter and try out the crampons with the new flexi bar. The snow was firm and the combination of the Meindl boots and G10s seem to work fine.  Much more comfortable walking in them than the Mantas :-)

On the way down looking towards Derwent Water

So that's it, the challenge has now started: 1 down, 213 to go!!

New Years Day

Happy New Year!

With it being the first day of the year and my challenge, I was up early to get some hills under my belt.  I was the first car to arrive in the small car park just outside Braithwaite, below Grisedale Pike.

No sooner had I opened the car door, I was slipping about on the ice, so the crampons were on straight away.  The sun was coming out and the weather was looking great.

On the way up I was passed by a young lady, who when stopped above me, dropped her map case.  I was able to collect it and reunite her with it!  A few more people appeared including a cross country skier who was enjoying the good conditions.

Just below the top I could feel a blister forming on the heal.  I hadn't worn my winter boots (Mantas) for quite a while and they were rubbing.  I was also regretting the extra plate of Christmas dinner too!!  Then as I was about the set off for the final push, the weather took a turn for the worse and I decided that I would call it a day and head down.

So not the start that I was hoping for in my challenge, but showed how unfit I am and also that I need to re-think my footwear.  Still plenty of time to get all of them in and I still really enjoyed my day out.

I also found an ice axe on my walk.  I think it could belong the same person who lost their map case.  I have left a number of messages on forums so hopefully it will get back to it's owner.  If it is the young ladies then she could really do with looking at her storage of equipment on her rucksack!